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Fortnight Dota Meta: Lina and Rubick thrive in the first half of DPC cover image

Fortnight Dota Meta: Lina and Rubick thrive in the first half of DPC

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Check out the current state of Dota 2 Meta including the most picked and most banned heroes after the first half of DPC.

It has been two weeks since the 2023 Winter Tour Regional Leagues began and a slightly different hero meta has surfaced since The International 11. A total of 250 games have been played across all regions so far and the Winter Tour final results are finally starting to take shape. Right in the mid-season, let’s take a look at the current Dota meta including the most popular and least popular heroes.
All data provided by Spectral Stats.

Most picked: Rubick (123 picks, 78 bans)

The notorious wizard, Rubick has surfaced in Dota's meta as the most picked hero with 123 picks across 250 games, appearing in almost 50% of the total games. Its viability is evident as Rubick accumulated a 55.28% winrate, mostly played as the soft support.
Why is this hero so good? Rubick is capable of dominating lanes and punishing the opponents hard. The hero has simple yet impactful spells. Aside from the disrupting Telekinesis, Rubick’s Fade Bolt is miserable to play against. It heavily reduces the opponent’s attack damage for a decent duration and is a low cooldown spell that makes it tough to trade hits. 
Of course, Rubick being Rubick means he will also steal your most potent spells. This hero is often first-phase picked and it discourages the opponent from picking strong-spell heroes such as Doom and Ember Spirit. Here is one of the most epic scenarios where both Hoodwink and Rubick killed each other using Sharpshooter.
Throughout the DPC so far, Team Liquid has had the most successful time playing Rubick. The team picked Rubick 7 times out of 10 matches and won all games with the hero. Pos 5, Insania, played Rubick 6 times and pos 4, Boxi, played the hero once.
Here are the top 5 most picked heroes throughout Winter Tour DPC Division I across all regions.
Hero
Picks
Win rate
Rubick
123
55.28%
Tusk
115
48.70%
Tiny
102
49.02%
Treant Protector
90
52.22%
Mirana
85
52.94%

Most banned: Lina (63 picks, 178 bans)

Lina is currently the hottest sensation in Dota town and not many teams want to play against this overpowered fiery hero. Across 250 games, Lina was thrown into the ban pit 178 times! That's 71% of the time spent on the bench. There were also moments when the hero saw the light of day and was picked in 63 games. Lina was mainly played in the carry role and it has a solid win rate of 55.6%.
This hero is a strong all-rounder with abilities that can do pretty much EVERYTHING. She’s a strong laner due to her high damage and decent attack speed. She also has one of the farthest attack ranges in Dota 2, so her opponent will have to sustain a lot of right-click harass during laning.
Due to her set of spells, Lina becomes impactful fast. Boots of Travel, Maelstrom, and Black King Bar are enough for Lina to start gunning heroes around the map. So compared to the traditional carry heroes such as Naga Siren or Terrorblade, Lina has a much better pace. It's no wonder that Lina is the current Dota meta with her incredibly high potential.
But with the hero spending most of its time banned, it seems like teams have yet to figure out how to play against Lina. And if no upcoming patch fixes this imbalanced hero, we are about to see a very predictable Lima Major.
Throughout the DPC so far, a couple of teams have been religiously banning Lina including Invictus Gaming, Team Spirit, and Aster.Aries - who had all banned this hero 9 times. 
Here are the top 5 most banned heroes throughout Winter Tour DPC Division I across all regions.
Hero
Bans
Lina
178
Broodmother
161
Batrider
157
Beastmaster
138
Ember Spirit
118
Hero popularity is measured by how many times the hero is contested, which means the total number of times it is picked and banned. Throughout the DPC, Lina was the most popular hero with 242 total appearances in 250 games! Another interesting one on the list is Broodmother which was traditionally seen as pretty niche but has grown in potential. But what makes her so powerful?
Hero
Total Matches
Picks
Bans
Lina
242
63
179
Broodmother
208
46
162
Rubick
202
124
78
Batrider
200
42
158
Ember Spirit
193
75
118
Broodmother is the 2nd most banned hero at 162 bans and her strengths are very apparent. She is a lane dominator with high damage and good survivability in the early game. Her first spell is a mini-Satanic that also increases her attack damage, making it very easy to trade hits and win.
She is a great roamer that can be active earlier on especially with her Spiderlings. This ability allows her to dive towers, get vision all around the map, and push objectives. Broodmother is basically a nightmare to fight against due to the enormous pressure she can create throughout games.

Most unpopular heroes

Among a total of 123 heroes in Dota 2, there are four heroes that have yet to be seen in the DPC. These four heroes are Clinkz, Warlock, Meepo, and Bristleback.
Now, are we even surprised to see Meepo here? He has been unpicked for ages and until we see a huge update or rework to any of his spells, he will remain in the abyss unseen. Then we have Clinkz, Bristleback, and Warlock - all of which are not attractive enough when compared to so many other viable heroes.
Clinkz has weak survivability and is completely helpless during the laning phase. Bristleback is a simple hero and it is too easily countered. Lastly, Warlock is just okay. But he's not nearly good enough as other heroes like Abaddon that can offer better sustain to teammates.
This concludes our fortnightly Dota 2 meta recap. We will return with another meta overview after two weeks of Dota Pro Circuit though we can't guarantee that there'll be too many changes without a major patch. All data in this article are referred from Spectral Stats.
Stick around Esports.gg for more Dota 2 news and features!
Sarah "KZ" Zulkiflee
Sarah "KZ" Zulkiflee
Editor | Twitter @kayzeesarah
Born and grew up in Malaysia, but a citizen of the world. High-key addicted to everything Dota 2. Spams support heroes but Ancient Apparition is an all-time favorite (a 100% Ice Blast accuracy). Only PMA during the day.